Inflicting physical and emotional emotional damage upon oneself is one of the harshest and most heartbreaking realities that a person can endure. Unfortunately, for many women, this is the reality they face after having an abortion. The grief and pain of abortion is a challenging experience that can take a woman’s life down an often-devastating path.
The psychological impacts of abortion can be wide and varied, and not all women affected will have the same emotional response. Nevertheless, a common theme among the grief and pain of abortion is guilt and regret. Strong feelings of shame and an underlying sense of guilt for the decisions made can be a heavy burden to bear. The emotional toll of facing this regret is often so overwhelming that it can cause considerable mental distress.
The concept of guilt can be related to the concept of loss that surrounds an abortion. There can be a keen sense of sadness and loss for the opportunity that the unborn child represented. Questions such as ‘what could have been’ and ‘what would they have been like’ can haunt the woman’s thoughts and feelings for a long time.
These feelings often manifest in internal conflicts that, over time, can drive a wedge between the woman and those around her. It is not uncommon for those who have experienced the grief and pain of abortion to become distant from their family and friends as they struggle to make sense of their emotions.
The grief and pain of abortion can also cause a person to spiral into a deep and dark depression. This depression can be brought about by a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness as the person is unable to handle the magnitude of the experience. The depression may lead to bitter resentment and anger, which in turn may manifest into aggressive behavior and ultimately, self-destructive choices.
The trauma that can result from the grief and pain of abortion is psychological in nature, but the physical impacts are not to be ignored. Women may experience symptoms such as insomnia, heavy menstrual periods, pelvic infections, and abscesses. Hot flashes, headaches and dizziness are also common, all of which can affect the way a woman interacts with her world, her job performance, and relationships.
The complex psychological and physical ramifications of grief and pain of abortion may present daunting challenges for any woman on her journey towards healing. Professional counseling services are an invaluable tool that can provide guidance and support to those who require assistance. This type of therapy provides a safe and neutral environment in which to explore the sources of the pain and feelings, and allows for the woman to understand and cope with the experience.
It is important to remember that while the experience of abortion is a difficult one, it does not define a woman. With the right support, it is possible to reach a state of peace and be able to move past the grief and pain of abortion to a place of healing. This healing will equip the woman to carry on, knowing that although the emotional pain may never be fully erased, it can be tolerated, and even embraced in time, if the right resources and support are tapped into.